BY AYOMIDE JAYEOBA
The Football Association of Cameroon has cried out over the withdrawal of seven key players from the country’s AFCON 2017 squad adding that African players are victims of blackmails from European teams.
The Head of Media of Cameroon’s football governing body, Simon Lyonga lamented that, it is the reason the country players are turning down the chance to represent their nation citing Super Eagles’ skipper, John Mikel Obi’s situation at Chelsea as evidence.
Liverpool’s Joel Matip, West Brom’s Allan Nyom, Andre Onana (Ajax Amsterdam), Maxime Poundje (Girondins Bordeaux), Ibrahim Amadou (Lille), Guy N’dy Assembe and France-based Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa of Marseille, have all turned down the opportunity to shine for the five time African Champion.
Nyom, Anguissa, Onana, Amadou and Assembe told Broos that they preferred to stay with their clubs while Poundje wants to play for France.
“This has been going on for long now. The coaches of these clubs blackmail players who want to go for AFCON with threats of no first choice position, Lyonga began.
“Even in the past during the era of Eto’o they experienced similar situation but they knew they could count on their talent. Our younger generation is limited and can easily fall for that.”
“A young man like Zambo Anguissa should be happy to play for his country no matter the situation in camp. Do you think the situation was better when the Mbomas played? I do not think so.”
“We are victims of blackmail and we throw that back to ourselves. We need to fight that. See what is happening to Mikel Obi. Today, he is second choice because his coach told him not to go to the Rio Olympics but South American players can go for Copa America whenever.”
Coach Hugo Broos is expected to name his final 23-man list next week as the Indomitable Lions look to win their first AFCON title since 2002.